How to paint your car

When you paint something on you car, make sure you do the whole piece (ie. If you do a but of the door, you got to do the whole door to have the paint match). Example: I had rust of about the size of a quarter. It came out when I was power washing my car at one of the coin op places. That’s when I decided I had to do the whole thing.

To be honest with you, I didn’t know what I was doing when I painted my car. I went into it blindfolded. I read like 3 DIY’s on how to paint skirts and lips, also read a post from some guy who painted his Integra from rusted white to a nice blue and his car turned out really nice. I pmed him and got a lot of info, and went from there.

To have your paint matched and mixed into a spray can, go to these guys, they are AMAZING! They have all the paint products you can think of, plus some automotive repair products. Telly and Tim recommended them to me, and I’ve been one super happy guy since I started shopping there. I’m there once a month going through paint books, getting supplies for painting, touching up, cleaning my car, and polishing my rims/valve cover/sway bars…I don’t think there is something they don’t have:
Located on 3rd road, 3 blocks north of Lakeshore on Cawthra in Mississauga.

Here is a turnout of some of my work. I had the rear bumper and rear quarter panel painted. I also painted my side skirts and my front lip:

567f66afb376327c7ca11b358f1f0373  How to paint your car

that was in my driveway btw

I’m not going to get into too much detail, most of the detail you need is on the products you buy. This will steer you in the proper direction.
Make sure you:
-pick a warm day. The hotter the better, you want the paint to bake so that it dries evenly
-Give Canadian Tire the finger…don’t buy paint there unless you’re painting your beater flat black. Then it doesn’t matter. You can use thier Primer and Clearcoat, but I recommend others first before you decide to get some there.
-Call up Cawthra automotive, or find a local shop that can mix the paint and throw it in for you into an aerosol can.

You’ll need the following supplies:

-About a can of paint, mixed, and matched to your car(spray can)
-Gloves. Either mechanics gloves or those yellow ones your mom uses to clean the house. Sanded metal and paint are really hard to wash off and get out from under your fingernails. I learned from experience.
-Respirator (you’re going to die young if you don’t buy this…a mask won’t suffice)
-Sandpaper of the following grit: 400,800,1000,1500,2000. I used 3M from Canadian Tire. I highly recommend it.
-Clear coat(about a spray can of it)
-Random orbital sander (11,000rpm Mastercraft would be awesome)
^^learn to control this first…this thing is a beast, you will mess up your car if you can’t keep it steady!(I used “Mechanix” gloves, and they prevented vibrations and gave me complete control over it. It takes practice but it becomes fun using this thing after a while.)
-220 grit sand paper for the random orbital sander(I used Mastercraft 5” discs. They’re really good as well)
-Buffer cloths for the orbital sander, or a buffer(if you buy the mastercraft orbital sander, all you need is the cloths. They cost $4 at CT, you get about 5 or so)
-Mothers rubbing compound, or equivalent
-Primer(any of them should do…I used Tremclad)
-Some wax(I used Turtles liquid wax…but anything would pretty much work)
-(optional)Something to stop the rust from coming back…I heard the best stuff to use is that stuff from those marine shops. If a boat can get dunked in water and not rust, your car will life a happy life
-(Optional) Bondo…you may need some Bondo, don’t get “Bondo” but aim for getting Proform’s body filler, or the stuff they sell at Nappa if you’re desperate. DON’T BUY CANADIAN TIRE BONDO!!!!!!! Shop at Cawthra for this stuff, they know what’s good. C-T Bondo expands after it dries, and it cracks when you sand it.

First off, check to see how bad the rust is. If it’s only surface rust, you’re good to go. But if the rust is falling off in pieces and the metal is eaten away, it’s going to get realllllllly tricky because you either have to get the fenders cut and replaced or you can bondo them.

Ok, now, to start off, you’ll need some sort of wax/grease removing compound. Use that first by following the exact instructions given to you. I’m not sure where to get this, but any paint shop will provide it for you. Once again, Cawthra Automotive is your best bet.

Then after that, use the 220 grit sandpaper with the random orbital sander. Grab a hose and water down the area you will be sanding. Gently and evenly start going over the rusted area. You can go beyond the rust by about 2 inches if you please…Keep adding water to prevent unevenness and scratches. The water is the key! Also, don’t just plop the sander on top of the area, start by lightly touching the area with the corner of the sander, and work your way up. Go in either a left and right direction or a circular direction.

Keep going until all the rust is gone. You’re aiming to see pure metal, no bits of red or brown at all, or it will come back. Use bondo if need be at this point. Over sanding will warp the look of your car as well, so don’t over sand unless you need to get rid of the rust. Either way, the more you stay in one spot, the more warped your car will look. The trick is to move around an area, and sand it evenly. If you mess up, you’ll need body filler.

Once the rust is gone, sand the entire quarter panel, up to the top of the door with 800 grit paper. Not too much, just enough to get rid of the clear coat. You want to keep your original colour to have a proper colour blend; otherwise you’ll be able to tell. Once you got that done, use the 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit paper to make it smoooooooth. Once again, keep adding water when you’re sanding (a sanding block might come in handy or some good gloves right about now).

Once you got that, make sure you mask off everything but the quarter panel. Paint loves to travel, so find a big piece of cloth to cover you car. Cover your wheels, or take them off(I took mine off, and had the car on a jack) I did my car in my driveway and it was sort of windy…make sure your neighbors cars aren’t around as well, or their kids. Particles fly everywhere. I used the primrose metallic paint, and the metallic sparkles were all over my interior and my garage, driveway, etc…so see if you can mask off your car from the door jams in, the interior is a ***** to clean.

So, spray away with the primer you have. Only over the surface with metal exposed. About 2-3 coats would be good enough. Once that’s done, let it dry. Come back in 45 minutes after you have your beer, sand it down till it’s smooth, not going any finer than 400 grit(wet sanded) Since paint holds better to a rough surface.

Then, once that dries and you clean the surface of any debris, take out the can with your cars paint colour. Load the coats on evenly, and follow the instructions given on the can. If you don’ have any…aim about 20cm away from car, in even motion. Go in only one direction! Don’t go back and forth. Allow about 5 seconds between flashes or it will start leaking. Add a few coats of this stuff, I’d say 3/4 coats would be enough.

Once it dries, sand it with 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit sand paper. Clean the debris, and add 1 more coat of the colour on, just to keep the finish glossy. Now, let it dry.

Once you have the car sort of looking nice again, check and see if the paint matched fairly well. Remember, it’s hard to get a perfect match, and you’re still missing clear coat. If everything looks like it’s perfect, no weird cracks or orange peel, whip out the clear coat.

This is the trickiest part of all, because clear coat isn’t as viscous as paint and primer…in other words, it’s more “liquidy” so it tends to leak if you add too much of it. Try not to focus on one spot, and try to let it dry somewhat between coats. To be safe, give it 20 seconds between coats. After you drop 1-2 coats, let it dry for about 2-3 hours. Clear coat takes a really long time to dry. Once it’s dry, wet sand it with 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit sandpaper.

Give it another coat after you sand it, and if it’s super super smooth, you can move on to the rubbing compound. If not, wait till it dries and sand it with 1500 and 2000grit sand paper. It won’t be as shiny as stock, so if you’re mad that it didn’t work, calm down right about now. I felt the same, so don’t worry.

Once it dries fully (give about 2-3 hours for clear coat to dry), grab the rubbing compound, and grab put the buffer cloth onto the orbital sander or use a buffer. Apply the rubbing compound onto the clear coat(don’t overdo it, just apply a bit at a time). This stuff is really cool, it looks brown, kind of like mud, but once you turn on your buffer, and start working away at the compound, it makes your car look so shiny! Keep applying coat after coat until you think it look decent enough.

Now, Grab the Wax, and spread it on that area generously (mind as well do the whole car while you’re at it…) Use whatever you normally use to wax the car, or grab a soft cloth from the store. Some people use rags, but I find it leaves scratches in your paint.

Well, looks like you’re done. If you made it this far, be proud of yourself. You have more balls to do things to you car than 95% of the tuners out there.

I’m sure I may have missed something…so if you have any questions, pm me or post up here. Even if you need me to explain something in more detail…I’ll help you out.

Good luck, painting isn’t easy, remember, they key is always wet sand, and with everything you do, be patient!

If you’re painting your OEM side skirts, make sure you sand them down first because the plastics on hondas are coated when they roll off the line. One you have that, primer, and sand. Depending on how well you sanded the plastic, you may want to repeat priming and sanding over and over until the surface is smooth. Then follow the instruction in the original post from the primer phase onwards.

If you bought something for your car(ie. an aftermarket lip) just use 400 grit sand paper, and glaze through it to roughen the surface. Aftermarket parts aren’t coated for protection, you will need primer.

If you bought a part for your car that is OEM, or aftermarket but has been prevously painted another colour and you want to colour match it, Sand off the clearcoat fully. 220 grit wetsanded with the orbital sander and glaze over with the 400 grit paper. Let it dry, and make sure there is no clear left because clearcoat protects the original paint and if you paint over it, the paint will chip shortly after it’s done being painted. Once it’s off, prime it, and follow original post from that phase onwards. You may want to you a product to remove grease and wax before you sand however, because if it’s heavily waxed, or is really greasy, it will all get rubbed into the paint and car when you’re wetsanding.

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